In my opinion this ultimate reworking is the best thing to happen to spiderman in a long time. The books are witty, well written and engrossing and the the artwork has been spectacular. Volume 13 is as good as the rest and the art is up to its usual standard. The back story with all the characters has evolved so perfectly that it adds more meat to the story giving the action scenes an additional impact. Another great aspect to the ultimate collection is how much the original stories have been altered. Regardless of how much you know about Spiderman, you genuinely don't know what is gonna happen next. As you've probably gathered, it is of great benefit to have read the previous volumes to get the full impact of this volume but anyone should be able to get enjoyment from this.
Harry returns to school but is acting odd, Peter is worried about Mary Jane getting in danger because of knowing his identity as Spiderman and we also find out that Mary Jane and Harry were seeing each other just as Peter recieved his powers.
Fearing for Mary Jane's safety, Peter asks her to keep away from Harry but Mary Jane ignores him and speaks with him, causing Peter to get angry, which only makes Mary Jane angry. We see the tension between the couple and also the tension between Peter and Harry.
Not only this but we also see how Harry has suffered from what his father has done and we realise that he is more damaged than we first believed. Peter knows this but Mary Jane doesn't see it and by the time peter goes to confront Harry we see him transform into the Hobgoblin.
The previous volume was entertaining with a good relaxing storyline while this one is much darker and builds up to the battle we know is coming between the two friends. Not only this but we also see what could be the end of Peter and Mary Jane's relationship.
So many things I could say about this book, ok lets get to the story , Well Harry previously seen in ultimate spiderman Volume 9 [ ultimate 6 ] is back in high school but is acting strange and a is hiding a dark secret, also Peter and MJ are hitting relationship problems, we saw the Relationship start to crack in the last volume. There is a few cameos from some other ultimate universe characters as well.
The Art is Really good and Gets you Ingrained in the story. Really this art just makes it so awesome!
Overall, this book is good and shows us more of the Characters backstorys and sheds light on some other things art is really good. Buy it if you have collected everything so far, it makes it much more enjoyable.
Having read comics since the 1970's, I wasn't sure how to approach Ultimate Spiderman, essentially an attempt to make Spider-Man appeal to today's teen audience by contemporizing him. As such, I find the effort to shoehorn in trendy references a little tiresome, especially as it is written by Brian Michael Bendis, a thirtysomething!
That said, its good entertainment, but feels very lightweight. It reminds me of modern 'teen' cinema - glossy visuals, lots of action, bit of romantic angst but no depth.
I managed to read the 170 odd pages in 2 sittings,dealing with a different take on Harry Osborn and the Hobgoblin, which gives you an idea of the economical writing.
I think this will appeal to under 25's, to who it will feel more like their Spider-Man, but for my money, I will stick with the Spidey I have read and known, the more adult, married, grown up Peter Parker.
Worth a look? Yes. Pride of place on your shelf? No.